B&NES care firm Sirona has been criticised by UNISON after it has come to light that the company is advertising at least seven roles paid less than the legal minimum wage.
Job adverts on the Sirona website show an hourly rate of £7.58, but the legal minimum wage is £7.83 per hour. Any of the roles advertised could short-change a worker by £37.50 every month.
The illegal pay rates are listed for care workers, cooks and support staff. The roles affected include those done by Sirona care workers who are currently on strike across Bath and North East Somerset. Striking staff say Sirona’s plans to further reduce pay would make it impossible for them to make ends meet.
Staff at Sirona care homes report frequent vacancies, but with a significant number of jobs apparently offering less than minimum wage rates of pay, filling these will likely be a challenge.
UNISON organiser in B&NES John Drake said:
“The minimum wage is supposed to be just that – the least anyone can be paid. But Sirona’s below-the-line job adverts don’t even meet this tiny hurdle. Let’s be clear: if Sirona were to hire staff on these rates they would be breaking one of our most basic laws to protect workers.
“This goes beyond Sirona’s treatment of workers. It’s a matter of basic management competence. Not only do Sirona bosses have a plan to either cut pay or make staff work for free, but new recruits are looking at below minimum wage pay rates. Frontline staff are the beginning, middle and end of Sirona’s operations and should be treated with dignity.
“Our aim should be a real living wage for care workers, but Sirona can’t manage to meet the legal minimum. I hope Sirona’s bosses not only fix this situation, but reflect on their handling of staff pay and conditions and take their proposed pay cut off the table too.”